Have you ever thought about who really has your heart? Is that apparent in your life; the choices you make, your words, your actions? If you have given your heart to Jesus, is the overflow of you heart for him? Are you choosing day by day, moment by moment to give your heart away?
So many times in our walk with the Lord we default to the basics, the regimented rules, the familiar. We hold back a little of our hearts to preserve them. No one likes discomfort. When we give our heart fully to him, guaranteed there will be some discomfort. If we keep our hearts independently, sometimes things happen that are beyond our control and we have to surrender all of our heart, we cannot go on alone. What happens then? We find the pain that we endure on our own is more destructive than the pain we receive from yielding our complete lives to God. When we are yielded we invite the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. We no longer have to carry the load alone, we have a helper.
What about our husbands and children? Do they have our heart? If I have been hurt by them, do I forgive and put my heart on the line again? In human logic it seems backwards to forgive and be vulnerable. God's ways are not man's though, and we must look to him for guidance and strength. We must forgive like we have been forgiven, over and over again and right away. This comes as a shock to my selfish and self preserving ways. It is my sin nature and encouragement from society to look out for me first, to take care of my needs, to make sure I get me time and what I want. I cannot think of a more destructive lie I have believed in the past and have to fight not to believe each day.
The truth is my God, my husband and my children deserve all of my heart not just part. Not only do my husband and children deserve it, but, they must have it if we are going to win this race for the Lord's glory. If I am holding back even a little for me, for my pleasure, for my perceived good I am failing to give my best. I use to think I would only be my best if I took care of me first, made sure I was right and then I could be there for others. If I waited to be right the day would never come that I could be there for others. I am a sinful, wrong, fallen person. On my own I can never amount to anything good. Only with God's help can I do anything of value and good in this and the eternal life.
I can't wait to be good enough on my own. I must choose today to trust God and be vulnerable with those in my life. I must give my husband my heart, trust his ways, forgive offenses, lean on him, and follow when everything in me cries out to lead. I must choose to talk with him and reveal what is in my heart, to openly share what I am about from deep inside or I will never keep his trust. If I keep hidden away a little of my heart, he will never fully trust me knowing that I have rejected him. If I choose to lay on the line, the good, the bad and the ugly he will truly see me for who I am and know that he has my complete confidence, love and trust. When I would rather confide in girlfriends and others what is going on in my heart and life, I show him that I don't trust him to take care of me. I build a wall of division in my marriage, one that will not be easily broken down. If I am willing to communicate and put into words and actions what I am all about I can have a full, beautiful love. If I am unwilling to take the risk, time and energy, to forgive and overlook offenses I will never be content, I will give opportunity for doubt mistrust and bitterness to take root. We must make our husbands our best friends, our deepest confidants, our heroes and our menders of issues. Trusting the men that God placed in authority over us often seems far too risky, but, God does not make mistakes! Following the requirement to submit will be blessed, if not here then at the judgement seat in heaven it will.
What about my children? How can I possibly give them my complete heart when I am already so overwhelmed with all that they require and need in rearing? I wonder to myself how I can ever gain their heart if I am unwilling again to put mine out there? If I am ever to win for the Lord with them I must be willing to completely put myself aside and give away my rights so I can raise up a generation that will know and follow Jesus. If I hold back a little of my heart for me, just for a little me time, grown up time my children will learn to hold back just a little bit for themselves. In God's economy we must give all, not most. Our children need us to be shouldering a cross each day. They need to hear and see our hearts crying out to the Lord for his strength. They must see our hearts repentant, joy filled, cheering for them, crying with them, unyieldingly standing by them and for them. There is no room here for self. We must choose to be interrupted. To do what is uncomfortable. What is hard. It is the only way!
We have a world of lost and lonesome people. Could it be there are simply too many hearts being kept "safe and secure" in selfishness? Could it be we are all waiting for someone else to show love? We have excuses to spare. Maybe if we put ourselves aside we would have love to spare for other's.
I desire not to exalt my ways of submission and parenting. I too often find myself choosing the selfish route and pulling back my heart. I wish only to try and wake up each day and give what Jesus did each moment of his life-everything. If I will this to happen it will be false, temporary, a facade. If I cry out for the Holy Spirit's power and strength each day anew I hope and trust my life will show the fruit of a submitted and humbled heart. With such a great example in our Saviour, I must look to him. I must choose to deny myself and the message the world sends. I must choose to make my Master, husband and children more important than me and worthy of all my heart. Only then will I gain theirs. Only then will I see God's power in my life full and abounding.